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Seddon

Last Modified: 31-1-2022 21:51

Seddon
Seddon
© Christopher Cookson  License this image

Seddon is a small town south of the Awatere River. The town was established in 1899 after the government broke up the Starborough Estate, and allocated part of the land for a town. The town is named after NZ premier at the time, Richard Seddon. Official 2006 census figures give a permanent population of 513, which is a net decline since 1996, however the population is boosted substantially by seasonal workers employed to work in the vineyards of the Awatere Valley.

Originally the town was a service centre for the surrounding pastoral farming activities. During the Second World War, a linen flax mill was established to meet the needs of the allied war effort. The town also benefited from the railway passing through the town. In the 21st Century, the town has enjoyed a new lease of life with the rapid growth of viticulture in the region. Workers from around the world have come to work in the vineyards of the Awatere Valley, and the resulting requirements for accommodation have seen a mini building boom, and the establishment of backpackers in Seddon.

The old Seddon railway station has been converted into a cafe and art gallery to cater for the many tourists and locals who visit the area to experience the local wines. 

Seddon School is a full primary school established in 1883 catering to Year 1-8 students.

An ongoing problem for the town has been a safe, reliable water supply, with water sourced from the Black Birch Stream to the north west of the town requiring boiling for a number of years until a new water treatment plant was completed in August 2019.

Another longstanding complaint of many locals was the historic Awatere road/rail bridge just north of Seddon, on State Highway One. The bridge was unique in that the railway bridge was built on top of the road bridge, however the road bridge was only single lane, and used wooden decking which was not well suited to heavy vehicles. Visibility at the bridge approaches was poor, so traffic lights were provided at either end during the later years of use. A new two lane concrete bridge opened in 2007, and the decking was removed from the lower deck of the old bridge, with the claim that the cost of annual inspection would be too high to justify leaving the bridge intact for cyclists and pedestrians.

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The bike ride to a ballot for Starborough in Marlborough, 1899

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Seddon. (2022) Retrieved June, 29, 2022, from https://www.marlboroughonline.co.nz/marlborough/information/geography/towns-settlements/seddon/

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